Manulife sees dip in quarterly earnings due to impact of US hurricanes

first_imgTORONTO – Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC) says net income was down for the quarter as it took a significant provision related to the impacts of the U.S. hurricanes on its reinsurance business.The company says the provision amounted to $240 million for the damage caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, for its first significant loss in the business since 2011.Manulife says it had net income of $1.11 billion, or $0.54 per common share for the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with $1.12 billion or $0.55 per share for the same period last year.Company CEO Roy Gori says key growth drivers continued in the quarter, with double-digit core earnings growth in Asia and another quarter of positive net flows in its global wealth and asset management business.Earnings were, however, also tempered by lower gains from investments and the direct impact of markets, with investment-related gains coming in at $111 million compared with $297 million in the third quarter last year.As of the end of the quarter, Manulife had total assets under management and administration of $1.0 trillion, up eight per cent from Dec. 31.last_img read more

"Manulife sees dip in quarterly earnings due to impact of US hurricanes"

Madrid target Icardi

first_imgReal Madrid are interested in signing Mauro Icardi from Inter Milan, according to Metro.Madrid have sent officials to Italy to negotiate a deal in the region of £99million for the Argentine striker.The Spanish giants are looking to invest heavily in their squad to replace the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo who joined Juventus earlier this summer.With the lack of firepower up front, Madrid are keen to bring Mauro Icardi from the San Siro to the Santiago Bernabeu. The Inter Milan captain finished as the joint top scorer in the Serie A last season with 29 goals.Gerard Pique, Neymar, BarcelonaLa Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…Real have sent representatives to discuss with Inter and Icardi‘s agent Wanda Nara who also happens to be his wife.Meanwhile, Madrid are keen to avoid any discussions with Inter over the availability of Luka Modric. The San Siro outfit are keen to sign the midfield maestro who has already agreed terms with the club.Real Madrid insist Modric is not for sale considering the fact that fellow Croatian Mateo Kovacic has already left the Bernabeu this summer.Modric is believed to be keen on a move to Inter to reunite with fellow Croatians Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic.last_img read more

"Madrid target Icardi"

How 3 Publishers Repurposed Existing Assets for New Success

first_imgNew York uses its archives to tell its 50-year-long story of the city in book formNew York magazine recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and at the time of the magazine’s founding, New York City was in a difficult period—fighting bankruptcy, high crime, and a negative image. Over the ensuing 50 years, the city’s dramatic evolution was captured in the magazine’s pages.“We had the perfect opportunity to use our archives to showcase this extraordinary time,” says David Haskell, business and strategy editor at New York. “As a weekly magazine, you have this on-the-ground, unfocused but thrilling story of the city’s change.”The magazine opted to use an editorially driven approach, rather than a “greatest hits” piece, to tell the story of the city’s last 50 years. It found Simon & Schuster to publish the book and released “Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant, Despicable: Fifty Years of New York” last November.The process for publishing the book was selective. “There were a lot of terrific stories, especially over the past 10 years, that didn’t belong in the book,” says Haskell.Haskell advises editorial teams to think of their archives as an opportunity for a remix or a new round of curation.“It’s not a strategy that will work in every circumstance, but it was a really happy outcome for us to make something that we were really proud of editorially out of our archives,” he says.New York has an agreement with Simon & Schuster to add three more books to the series.AllRecipes.com reverse-engineers its digital version into a magazine with a rate base of 1.4 millionMost repurposing involves offline material converted into online content, but AllRecipes.com has had success doing just the opposite with its online-to-offline publishing strategy. The 20-year-old website began as an array of online recipe hubs, initially known as CookieRecipe.com, and ultimately consolidated into AllRecipes.com. Its digital version has seen rapid growth, and now receives 80 million monthly users and 1.5 billion annual visits.“Given the success of Allrecipes.com, the largest food site in the world, we knew there would be an appetite for a reverse-engineered, digital-to-print extension of the brand,” says Doug Olson, president and general manager of Meredith Magazines. “Newsstand testing in the spring of 2013 yielded 400,000 subscriptions in just two weeks.”AllRecipes.com released the magazine, and has since increased its rate base seven times, to the current base of 1.4 million. And even though most of the print content is available for free online, consumers are still willing to pay.“Editorial content is constantly evaluated and tweaked based on our findings from Allrecipes.com,” says Olson. “Consumers read magazines for inspiration, rather than dinnertime solutions, so our editors showcase other food lifestyle content, such as themed party ideas, holiday menus, kitchen trends and more.”Olson emphasizes the heavy role that year-over-year trending data plays in curating the print magazine: Its digital site gives in-depth information about what consumers search for, what recipes they save, what they share. Other magazines can use similar data, even if from a more limited scope, to help match their publications with consumer interests. In a December column for Folio:, Nick Giallourakis described the different ways media companies can repurpose content to create valuable new assets. Below are three examples of the ways publishers are creating new business in simple and efficient ways by repurposing content across the print and digital divide.Cigar Aficionado releases unpublished portions from its filmed Michael Jordan interviewSnagging a rare interview with basketball legend Michael Jordan for its December 2017 cover, Cigar Aficionado was able to capture something that it never had before. While the magazine had previously included video on its website—such as short features with editors reviewing cigars, or behind-the-scenes clips of Arnold Schwarzenegger driving his personal tank while chomping a cigar—it had never filmed any of its celebrity cover interviews.“When we arranged an interview with Jordan for the December 2017 cover, we knew right away we wanted to capture the conversation on video,” says David Savona, executive editor at Cigar Aficionado. “Video is such a beautiful way to add to the experience and to keep our audience in our world beyond the time they are reading the magazine.”The filming process was relatively simple: The photographer they used for the interview had video experience, so they supplied him with additional staff and a multi-camera setup for the video component. The results blew away the magazine staff’s expectations.“Watching it come together, I could tell right away it was going to be something special,” says Savona, who was present at the interview that was conducted by Marvin R. Shanken, owner, editor and publisher of Cigar Aficionado. “His responses were so good, so intriguing, and really gave a view of the man a lot of people perhaps did not know. We were very happy watching how it unfolded and seeing how it all came together in the final editing.”Readers responded with enthusiasm. The video interview drew traffic from mentions in the print magazine, as well as from site visitors and social media followers, and it received press coverage from other outlets, including Golf Digest.last_img read more

"How 3 Publishers Repurposed Existing Assets for New Success"

Hunter Hayes Announces US Tour In Support Of Upcoming Third FullLength Album

first_img Hunter Hayes Announces U.S. Tour In Support Of Upcoming Third Full-Length Album Facebook 2019 GRAMMYs Viewer’s Guide: Where To Watch Music’s Biggest NightRead more Email The GRAMMY-nominated country/pop rockstar returned with his first official new single in three years last week, and now he’s plotting a U.S. trek to support his forthcoming album, due out later this yearNate HertweckGRAMMYs Feb 7, 2019 – 7:00 am Multi-genre phenom Hunter Hayes has announced the Closer To You spring U.S. tour in support of his forthcoming album, due out later this year. the 20-date run will kickoff in Atlanta on Apr. 18 and cross America before wrapping in Cincinatti, Ohio on June 1. While fans will no doubt be thrilled about the news, so is Hayes.”I’m very excited to finally announce our Closer To You spring tour,” said Hayes in a tour teaser video. “New show, new music, a lot of new things. I can’t wait for you to see what we’ve been working on.”Just last month on Jan. 25, Hayes returned with his first official single in three years, the infectious “Heartbreak.” The song, according to Hayes, was written to his future self in during the throes of a breatkup.”After a relationship ends, I think we all want to know that there is someone for us but unfortunately, a lot of people have been lead to believe that you’re supposed to feel s***ty after a breakup,” Hayes said in a statement. “I wanted this song to turn that feeling around for people and remind them not to let someone walk out the door with your happiness and your self-worth. I kind of want this song to be somebody’s disco ball on a depressing night rather than a box of tissues and a Hugh Grant movie. That’s why I love that line ‘I’ve been in some s*** relationships but I remain an optimist.’” Hayes’ new album will follow 2014’s Storyline, which earned him his most recent GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Solo Performenace for “Invisible.” His most recent official single was 2016’s “Yesterday’s Song,” but the Lousiana native hasn’t been completely silent since then. Hayes dropped a song called “Dear God” just last year and released a three-part mini movie set in the 1950’s titled “Pictures” that follows storylines of domestic violence, racial differences, and a powerful love that can’t be stopped. The movie featured three of Hayes’ music videos for the songs “You Should Be Loved,” “More” and “This Girl.”Known for his electrifying live performances, complete with his signature pop/country vocal tone and ripping guitar work, Hayes returns to the road should be a natural one. Check out the full list of dates below and visit his website for ticket details.center_img Twitter Hunter Hayes Announces New Music, U.S. Tour hunter-hayes-announces-us-tour-support-upcoming-third-full-length-album News last_img read more

"Hunter Hayes Announces US Tour In Support Of Upcoming Third FullLength Album"

OBITUARY Hazel Dean Barnes 81

first_imgTupelo, MS — Hazel Dean Barnes, 81, passed away Monday, January 21, 2019, at Tupelo Nursing and Rehab Center. On May 20, 1937, she was born to Joseph Bailey and Zera Fleming Bailey in Booneville. She was married to her soul mate and love of her life, the late Norman Barnes for 33 years and they made their home in Wilmington, Massachusetts. Hazel was quite the homemaker and a passionate dedicated foster mom. She possessed a selfless soul with a giving heart who had a passion for taking care of others, especially her family and foster children. She will forever be remembered for her nurturing spirit as she was a wonderful mother.  She enjoyed spending time with her family and especially her grandchildren.Survivors include her sons, James Barnes of Tupelo, Richard Barnes and his wife, Meredith of Tupelo, Scott Barnes of Mantachie and Stephen Barnes of Canada; seven grandchildren, Jennifer Norris and her husband, Brian of Newbury Port, Massachusetts, Krystal Alfreds and her husband, Charlie of Tupelo, Amanda Barnes of Charlotte, North Carolina, Brianna Barnes of Tupelo, Natalie Barnes of Tupelo, Randall Barnes of Memphis, Tennessee and Joey Barnes of Tupelo; eight great-grandchildren; three sisters, Earnestine White of Booneville, Brenda Little and her husband, Randy of Tupelo and Faye Foster and her husband, Tony of Tupelo.She was preceded in death by her husband, Norman Barnes; parents, Joseph and Zera Bailey; and brother, Jake “JC” Bailey.Visitation was held from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at W.E. Pegues, Tupelo. Graveside services honoring her life were held on 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at Tupelo Memorial Park.(NOTE: The above obituary is from W.E. Pegues Funeral Directors.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Verda J. Murray, 90In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Phyllis (Lanzilli) Catalogna, 98In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Janet (Colucci) O’Connor, 86In “Obituaries”last_img read more

"OBITUARY Hazel Dean Barnes 81"

Moona controls your pillow temp for better zzzs at CES 2019

first_img Share your voice Smart Home CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 CES 2019 Tags Other cool stuff The Moona water pump sends water to the Moona pillow pad to regulate your temperatures as you sleep.  Moona Startup Moona wants you to get a better night’s sleep. But rather than a smart mattress or any of the other standard sleep sensors we’ve come across, it’s planning to change the temperature of your pillow.  Everything we’ve seen at CES 2019 (so far) The best smart bed could be the one you already own 12 proven ways to get better sleep Moona’s system includes a water pump that goes on your nightstand. Use the controls on the water pump to adjust Moona to one of three possible temperature settings. Moona says it can range in temp from roughly 71 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit, claiming that the area around your head and neck is a “key body heat exchanger.” In addition to acting as a water pump, it has built-in sensors that are supposed to keep an eye on ambient light, temperature and humidity in the room. It’s Bluetooth enabled too, so it can connect to the Moona app. The pump looks like a smart speaker, but it’s designed to send water to Moona’s pillow pad. The pillow pad consists of a plastic layer that holds the water. It doesn’t sound very cozy, but Moona says the plastic is “surrounded by memory foam for comfort.” A motion sensor on the pad is supposed to monitor your sleep. Use the app to select your preferred temperatures and to see how you’re sleeping at night.  Now playing: Watch this: 0 Moona heats your pillow at CES 2019 for a better night’s… 85 Photos Post a comment 1:15 Sleep tech CES Productslast_img read more

"Moona controls your pillow temp for better zzzs at CES 2019"

Parts of Niagara Falls park freeze into otherworldly ice landscape

first_img An icy winter view from Journey Behind the Falls ❄️📸: @ArgenElezi #NiagaraParks #NiagaraFalls #ExploreCanada #DiscoverON pic.twitter.com/vNcR0zgXhb— Niagara Parks (@NiagaraParks) January 20, 2019 Post a comment 0 Visitors to the falls are reveling in the exotic sights. Instagram user Inge Groot reported a temperature of -25 Celsius (-13 Fahrenheit) in a post on Monday showing a snow-covered view of the Canadian side of the falls. Tags NASA sees dramatic Earth weather from space (pictures) Niagara Falls State park shared this wintry image on Jan. 16. Niagara Falls State Park The giant spinning ice disc of Westbrook, Maine has some stiff winter-phenomenon competition from Niagara Falls. A prolonged streak of frigid temperatures along the border of the US and Canada has left parts of Niagara Falls State Park in New York fantastically frozen.The park posted a Facebook video tour of the scenery on Tuesday showing a layer of snow and ice all around the rushing water at the top of the falls. The park included a one-word caption: “Frozen.”center_img Share your voice For a wintry blast from the past, it’s worth looking at an interesting image from the US Library of Congress archives. Dated to around 1883, it shows people gathered at the base of the partially frozen American Falls in New York. niagarafalls1883photoEnlarge ImageVisitors braved the frozen falls in 1883 in New York. George Barker/Library of Congress The winter of 2019 doesn’t look quite as dramatic as the view from the late-1800s, but the falls have still transformed into an even more magical place thanks to a scenic coating of ice and snow. 10 Photos While it looks like Queen Elsa of Arendelle could break out into song at any minute, the falls themselves aren’t frozen solid. “Surface water and mist in the air turns to ice, but there is still plenty of water flowing,” says the Niagara Falls tourism site. Niagara Parks in Canada shared a visitor’s look at the falls from its Journey Behind the Falls tour. Onlinelast_img read more

"Parts of Niagara Falls park freeze into otherworldly ice landscape"

Marriotts data breach deserves 124M fine UK privacy watchdog says

first_img 30 Photos GDPR Privacy GDPR: Here’s what you need to know 1:30 Now playing: Watch this: Security Marriott falls foul of GDPR. Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images In November 2018, the Marriott hotel group revealed it had been the victim of a four-year campaign by hackers to steal customer data from its reservations system. Now it’s going to have to pay the price for failing to keep that data safe.The Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s privacy watchdog, announced Tuesday that it intends to fine Marriott £99.2 million ($124M) over the security breach. It’s issuing the fine in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, the far-reaching EU-wide privacy law introduced in May 2018.Hackers breached the security systems of Starwood Hotels in 2014. Marriott bought Starwood in 2016, but didn’t discover and then patch the breach until 2018. Personal data from 339 million guest records (30 million European citizens and 7 million UK citizens) was exposed in the incident.Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed” with the decision by the Information Commissioner’s Office and that he would contest it. “Marriott has been cooperating with the ICO throughout its investigation into the incident, which involved a criminal attack against the Starwood guest reservation database,” he said. Share your voice 1 Tags Comment Last year the EU overhauled its pre-internet data protection laws to make them fit for the internet age. Under the GDPR, member states are able to fine companies 20 million euros ($22.4 million) or 4% of their total annual worldwide revenue in the preceding financial year if they fail to comply with the new rules. The Marriott fine is the second GDPR-related fine the ICO has announced this week. On Monday, the watchdog announced its intention to fine British Airways £183.4 million ($230M) over a 2018 data breach.”The GDPR makes it clear that organisations must be accountable for the personal data they hold,” said Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham in a statement. “Personal data has a real value so organisations have a legal duty to ensure its security, just like they would do with any other asset. If that doesn’t happen, we will not hesitate to take strong action when necessary to protect the rights of the public.”Marriott acknowledged that challenges and the disruptions they pose.”We deeply regret this incident happened,” said Sorenson. “We take the privacy and security of guest information very seriously and continue to work hard to meet the standard of excellence that our guests expect from Marriott.” What Disney’s Star Wars land and hotel will look likelast_img read more

"Marriotts data breach deserves 124M fine UK privacy watchdog says"

Airtel internet connections down across country as Cyclone Vardah hits undersea cable

first_imgCyclone Vardah has already caused a great deal of desctruction across Tamil Nadu, but now it is causing more problems in its aftermath. Users of internet services from Airtel, whether broadband or mobile, from across the country are apparently unable to connect to the Internet because the cyclone has managed to snag one of the company’s undersea lines.Airtel, which has been basking in the success of its newly-launched payments bank, sent out messages to some of its customers in this regard. One customer of Airtel Broadband said he received the following message from the Internet Service Provider (ISP): “Dear customer, the cyclone in Chennai has impacted one of our undersea network cables which may affect internet speeds of your Airtel Broadband connection. We deeply regret the inconvenience. Our engineers are working to resolve the issue and services will be normalised shortly.”The problem for mobile users seems limited to WhatsApp for the moment, with people taking to social media platforms like Facebook to let their problems known. Apparently, they are receiving WhatsApp messages, but not all of them in their entirety – images or videos or other attachments are going missing. And they are now unable to send WhatsApp messages or replies.An Airtel spokesperson was quoted by PTI as saying: “Customers in some locations may be experiencing slow internet/data speeds. Our teams are working to normalise the operations at the earliest possible, and making alternate arrangements to divert international internet traffic.”Cyclone Vardah, it may be noted, had made landfall on Monday afternoon in Tamil Nadu. Since then, it has caused the death of at least 18 people, and uprooted thousands of trees and electricity poles. It has also destroyed dozens of huts. The National Disaster Management Authority is currently monitoring the situation in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh – the two states hit worst by the storm.last_img read more

"Airtel internet connections down across country as Cyclone Vardah hits undersea cable"

Bigg Boss Telugu 3 vote Who among these 6 contestants should be

first_imgSix contestants nominatedScreenshot of Hotstar videoSix contestants – Punarnavi Bhupalam, Ravikrishna, Mahesh Vitta, Himaja Reddy, Varun Sandesh and Rahul Sipligunj – were nominated for the elimination from Bigg Boss Telugu 3. One of them would have to leave the house at the end of the sixth week.Big boss adopted a new strategy for the nomination process in the sixth week. The housemates were divided into 5 pairs – Baba Baskar-Mahesh Vitta, Vithika Sheru-Rahul Sipligunj, Sreemukhi-Himaja Reddy, Ali Reza-Ravikrishna and Punarnavi Bhupalam-Varun Sandesh. One of these pairs would stand and rest of them would pour mud on one of the two to nominate him/her for the elimination from Bigg Boss Telugu 3.All the pairs went through this process and Punarnavi Bhupalam, Ravikrishna, Mahesh Vitta, Himaja Reddy and Rahul Sipligunj were nominated for the elimination. Big boss instructed captain Siva Jyothi to directly nominate one contestant for eviction and she named Varun Sandesh. Have your say in the pollBigg Boss Telugu 3 Vote: Who among these contestants should be saved in week 6?Punarnavi BhupalamRavikrishnaMahesh VittaHimaja ReddyVarun SandeshRahul Sipligunj See results Return To Poll 2Rahul Sipligunj8466 996 706 NoContestantNumber 5Ravikrishna84669 96 702 4Himaja Reddy8466 996 705 3Mahesh Vitta8466 996 712center_img 1Punarnavi Bhupalam8466 996 709 6Varun Sandesh84669 96 714 The audience can save their favourite contestants from the eviction by casting votes for them through missed phone calls and HotStar App. One of the six inmates, who gets the least number of votes, would be evicted over the weekend.Here are the steps to save them.Missed call from PhoneStep 1: Find your favourite contestant’s missed call number form the below table.Step 2: Dial it.Step 3: Give missed call to that number.Step 4: Your vote is submitted.Note: Only 10 missed call can be given from one phone number in a week.Here are the Missed Call Numbers of Bigg Boss Telugu 3 contestants:NoNoContestantContestantNumberNumberNo1ContestantPunarnavi BhupalamNumber8466 996 709No2ContestantRahul SipligunjNumber8466 996 706No3ContestantMahesh VittaNumber8466 996 712No4ContestantHimaja ReddyNumber8466 996 705No5ContestantRavikrishnaNumber84669 96 702No6ContestantVarun SandeshNumber84669 96 714 Voting on Hotstar App1 – Download the Hotstar app from Playstore and install it on your smartphone.2 – Login to the page through your e-mail or Facebook account.3 – Type Bigg Boss Telugu in the Search bar and press Enter.4 – Click on the green ‘Vote’ button below the video5 – Find the names of the contestants who are facing elimination test this week. 6 – You will get 10 votes per day till Saturday midnight. You can either cast those votes to one person or divide it among the nominated contestants.7 – One click on any contestant is considered one vote and you have to click ten times to cast 10 votes. Once you click on any contestant, you cannot take back the vote. You need to decide on who you want to vote for before clicking on anyone.last_img read more

"Bigg Boss Telugu 3 vote Who among these 6 contestants should be"

87000 Rohingyas enter Bangladesh since last year IOM

first_imgRohingya refugees fleeing from Myanmar sitting in a boat after Bangladesh coast guard stopped them on Naf river from entering the country. AFP file photoApproximately 87,000 undocumented Myanmar nationals have so far entered Bangladesh following an outbreak of violence on 9 October last year in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, reports news agency UNB.The influx slowed in late February 2017; however, more new arrivals from Myanmar were reported in July, according to an assessment of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).Earlier, the figure was 80,000 arrivals.The figure stood over 87,000 with more new arrivals in July and August this year, officials in Cox’s Bazar said.The majority of them are living in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas of Cox’s Bazar district, a district bordering Myanmar identified as the main entry area for border crossing.Among those assessed, 52 per cent are women and girls.The National Strategy on Myanmar Refugees and Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UMN) formulated by the government of Bangladesh highlighted the fact that more than 3,00,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border and are living in Bangladesh.Needs and Population Monitoring (NPM) is designed to regularly and systematically capture, monitor and disseminate information to provide a better understanding of the movements and evolving needs of populations on the move, whether on site or en route.last_img read more

"87000 Rohingyas enter Bangladesh since last year IOM"

FM tells foreign diplomats 3000 Rohingyas killed in Rakhine

first_imgBangladesh foreign minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali on Sunday afternoon briefed foreign diplomats on the Rohingya crisis. Photo: Prothom AloBangladesh foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali on Sunday informed foreign diplomats that about 3,000 people have been killed so far in the latest spell of violence against Rohingyas in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.Vatican ambassador to Bangladesh, Archbishop George Kocherry, told journalists that the foreign minister gave this information in the afternoon.The minister briefed the foreign diplomats at Padma state guest house about the latest condition of the Rohingyas who entered Bangladesh from the violence-torn region of Myanmar.He briefed diplomats of Western and Muslim countries separately.US, Australian and Norwegian diplomats told Prothom Alo that several countries praised Bangladesh for providing shelter to a huge number of Rohingya people.The participants at the briefing also discussed ways to help Bangladesh face the Rohingya crisis, the diplomats said.The international community has pledged to stand beside Bangladesh to fight the crisis, they added.According to the United Nations, close to 300,000 Rohingyas have crossed into Bangladesh in the last two weeks. The refugee camps, erected for the Rohingyas, are bursting at the seams.last_img read more

"FM tells foreign diplomats 3000 Rohingyas killed in Rakhine"

Sweden arrests another suspect over Stockholm attack

first_imgSweden has arrested a second suspect over the deadly Stockholm truck attack, prosecutors said Monday.Four people were killed, including two Swedes, one Briton and one Belgian, when a truck mowed down pedestrians on a busy shopping street in central Stockholm on April 7.Rakhmat Akilov, a 39-year-old Uzbek national, confessed to driving the stolen truck and is being held in custody but investigators are still searching for possible accomplices.The second unnamed suspect was arrested on Sunday, the prosecution authority said in a statement, adding: “No more information can be given at the moment.”The prosecution has until Wednesday to decide whether the suspect should be formally remanded in custody.Police said they had jointly carried out the arrest with the Swedish Security Service “after a large amount of preliminary investigations had been processed.”No terror group has claimed responsibility for the rampage, which resembled vehicle attacks in Nice, Berlin and London.Construction worker Akilov is a father of four who was refused permanent residency in Sweden in June 2016. He went underground last year after receiving a deportation order, police said.He is known to have sympathies for jihadist groups, including the Islamic State (IS).last_img read more

"Sweden arrests another suspect over Stockholm attack"

Loan defaulters number over 230000 Muhith

first_imgFinance minister AMA MuhithThere are over 230,000 loan defaulters in the country with the amount of the classified loan soaring to Tk 1316.66 billion in the banks and financial institutions, finance minister AMA Muhith told Parliament on Wednesday, reports UNB.”As per the latest data (till June 2018) of the Credit Information Bureau (CIB) of Bangladesh Bank, now the number of loan defaulters is 230,658 in the country and the amount of classified loan Tk 1316.66 billion,” he said.The minister placed the statistics and a list of top 100 loan defaulters in the House replying to a starred question from Awami League MP Pinu Khan (Women Seat-23).According to the list, the top 10 loan defaulters include Mohammad Elias Brothers (PVT) Ltd, Quantum Power System Ltd, Remiex Footwear Ltd, Max Spinning Mills Ltd, Rubya Vegetable Oil Industries Ld, Rising Steel Ltd, Dhaka Trading House, Benetex Industries Ltd, Anowara Spinning Mills and Crescent Leather Products Ltd.The finance minister also placed the list of 88 banks and financial institutions having loans in default.As per the list, the amount of default loan is Tk 186.63 billion in Sonali Bank, Tk 148.40 billion in Janata Bank, Tk 92.84 billion in Agrani Bank,Tk 85.77 billion in Basic Bank, Tk 50.76 billion in National Bank, Tk 49.01 billion in Rupali Bank, Tk 39.98 billion in Southeast Bank Ltd, Tk 35.20 billion in Islami Bank (BD) Ltd and Tk 34.58 billion in Prime Bank Ltd.last_img read more

"Loan defaulters number over 230000 Muhith"

BCL announces panel for DUCSU polls

first_imgFile PhotoBangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) student wing of ruling Awami League on Sunday announced its 25-member panel for the much-awaited Dhaka University Central Student Union (DUCSU) polls.BCL president of DU unit Sonjit Chandra Das announced the names of the panel candidates at Madhur Canteen on the campus around 3:00pm.BCL president Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon, general secretary Golam Rabbani and DU unit general secretary Md Saddam Hussain are going to compete for the top three posts as vice-president, general secretary and assistant general secretary respectively.The nine other candidates of the BCL panel are freedom fighters affairs secretary Saad bin Kader, science and technology secretary Arif Ibn Ali, common room and cafeteria secretary BM Lipi Akter, international affairs secretary Shahrima Tanjima Arni, literature secretary Mazharul Kabir Showon, cultural secretary Shams E Noman, sports secretary Shakil Ahmed Tanvir, students transport secretary Rakib Hawlader, social service secretary Azizul Haque Sarker. The 13 member candidates are Cibol Sangma, Nazrul Islam, Rakibul Hasan, Rakibul Islam Oitijjo, Tanvir Hasan Saikot, Raisa Naser, Sabrina Eti, Eshat Kashfia Ira, Nipu Islam Tanni, Haider Mohhamad Jitu, Tilottama Sikder, Zulfiker Alam Rasel and Mahmudul Hasan.The DUCSU polls will be held for the first time in 28 years on 11 March. BCL candidates are heavily favored to sweep most of the positions based on the prevailing political context throughout the country and on university campuses.last_img read more

"BCL announces panel for DUCSU polls"

Wall collapse kills 2 workers

first_imgTwo construction workers were killed and another was injured as an under-construction wall of a bridge on the embankment of Singho river collapsed on them in Keraniganj on Tuesday morning, reports UNB.The deceased were Awlia, 25, and Moshiur Rahman, 40.Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, sub-inspector of Keraniganj model police station, said the wall and mud collapsed around 9:00am while a group of workers was working there, leaving the duo dead on the spot and another injured.last_img

"Wall collapse kills 2 workers"

As Saudi prince Salman rose the Bin Laden business empire crumbled

first_imgSaudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and logo of Saudi Binladin Group. Photo: ReutersSoon after prince Mohammed bin Salman became second in line to the throne of Saudi Arabia, he turned his sights to the sprawling empire of the Saudi Binladin Group.In 2015, the prince, then 29, approached Bakr bin Laden, chairman of the family-owned construction giant, and told him he wanted to become a partner in the firm, according to six people briefed on the exchange.The prince pitched his offer as a patriotic opportunity to help transform the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy. It would also, he said, ease the financial strain on the company as the government reined in infrastructure spending to cope with a drop in oil prices.As head of the Saudi royal family’s favoured building contractor, Bakr bin Laden was accustomed to obliging royal requests. But he hesitated at the prince’s approach, these sources said. The construction mogul replied that he needed time to consult other family shareholders.In the months that followed, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known by many simply as MbS, grew more powerful, rising to crown prince in June 2017. He championed economic reform and took aim at widespread corruption.The Bin Ladens, in contrast, experienced a dramatic fall from grace.Three Bin Laden brothers, senior executives in the family firm, were among more than 200 businessmen, royals and officials detained in November 2017 in an anti-corruption drive ordered by the prince. Bakr and two of his brothers, Saleh and Saad, eventually transferred their combined 36.2 percent stake in the family firm to the state in April 2018. Bakr, in his late 60s, is still in custody, although no charges have been made public.Reuters spoke to more than two dozen Saudi Binladin Group employees, family friends, government officials, bankers and businessmen to tell the story of the fall of the Bin Ladens. Few of the sources would go on the record, citing the Bin Ladens’ long-standing preference for privacy and restrictions on public criticism of the Saudi government. These sources charted the family’s reversal of fortune, starting with that 2015 exchange between Bakr and Prince Mohammed and ending with the state taking management control of the family firm.The Bin Ladens’ undoing exposes the contradictions in Prince Mohammed’s plan to build a modern economy, some economists say. He has embraced privatisation, hoping to inject dynamism, yet the state has intervened in firms such as Saudi Binladin Group. He has tackled corruption, yet there has been little transparency around the process. One Saudi businessman said the Bin Laden saga had become a “symbol of what’s happening between the government and the private sector – a breakdown of trust.”Asked to comment, a senior government official said Prince Mohammed did not seek a stake in Saudi Binladin Group in 2015. The Saudi government, he added, had saved the company from collapse after it experienced financial difficulties “coupled with extensive supervisory and governance weakness.” Saudi Binladin Group was “a vital Saudi commercial entity,” he said. The Bin Laden family and its representatives did not respond to a request for comment.New King, New RulesThe Bin Laden clan has known trouble before: The black sheep of the family, Osama, masterminded the attacks on America of Sept. 11, 2001. But the Bin Ladens, led by Bakr, survived that storm. Their reckoning began with King Abdullah’s death in January 2015.Saudi Binladin Group had grown from humble beginnings in 1931, nourished by the Bin Laden family’s good relations with successive rulers. Royal contracts were arranged informally, sometimes scribbled on paper over coffee.“It was the ‘inshallah bukra’ [God willing, tomorrow] way of doing business, with a meeting that might have been scheduled for 11 a.m. in the office, rescheduled to 4 p.m. and then actually taking place at 2 a.m. at the palace,” said Thomas Fallows, an American banker who worked in Riyadh for eight years.In the last months of King Abdullah’s life, oil prices tumbled to $60 a barrel from above $100 at their peak, slashing the kingdom’s revenues. By the time 79-year-old King Salman acceded to the throne, projects commissioned in the boom years were becoming a burden. These included a Riyadh financial district, an airport in Jeddah and an economic city on the Red Sea coast.Salman quickly appointed Prince Mohammed, a previously little-known son, as deputy crown prince. Mohammed also took control of the kingdom’s important economic and defence portfolios.As a teenager, Prince Mohammed had regularly attended meetings with his father, Riyadh’s governor at the time, but left little impression, said a former senior Western diplomat. But Salman saw in the boy qualities he prized, according to Saudi and Western sources. “Clever, rugged, understands the locals,” said one Western policy adviser. Other princes went abroad, but Prince Mohammed stayed in Saudi Arabia, earning a law degree and investing in the Riyadh stock market. By the time Salman became king, the young prince was sitting in on meetings with foreign officials and silently communicating with his father via iPad, the former Western diplomat said.Reform-minded and ambitious, Prince Mohammed was keen to challenge the status quo. He introduced changes to streamline government, diversify the economy and cut costs, including slashing construction spending. One of the new government’s first moves in 2015 was to order a review of state contracts, with a focus on the big projects on which Saudi Binladin Group depended, said two sources.Asked about the results of this review, the senior government official said, “The government is keen to review all projects, including those contracts that may have a suspicion of corruption or negligence in their sites.”Prince Mohammed encouraged Saudi Binladin Group to sell shares in an initial public offering, according to seven sources familiar with the discussions, part of efforts to develop the kingdom’s capital markets. The Bin Ladens had previously shelved IPO plans begun in 2011, worried that they would not get a good price in a stock market battered by low oil prices, and put off by the red tape involved in a share issue. The family was reluctant to revive the idea in 2015, when market conditions were worse, these seven sources said.Asked to comment, the senior government official denied that Prince Mohammed had promoted the idea that Saudi Binladin Group should sell shares in an IPO.Then, in September 2015, a construction crane owned by Saudi Binladin Group collapsed in Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing 107 people just before the start of Islam’s annual haj pilgrimage. The government moved against the company, suspending it from receiving new state contracts and barring its board members and senior executives from traveling abroad. It also ordered the Finance Ministry to review the firm’s existing projects, citing unspecified “shortcomings.”A senior Saudi Binladin Group executive and a source close to the family said the crane accident gave the government an opening to act against the firm. The executive said Saudi Binladin Group wasn’t responsible for the site at the time – the work fell under the supervision of local authorities in Mecca. The senior government official disputed this, saying it was standard practice that the contractor supervised the site. A legal case over the incident was still pending, he added.The Bin Laden family “took the slap on the hand and accepted it,” the executive said. “They would never speak out against the king or the crown prince. They are loyal servants.”The family tried to limit the damage. Bakr sent a letter to brother Saleh formally handing him responsibility for the company, hoping that a change of management would placate the government, according to two people who saw the letter. But the plan didn’t work. As payments from the state dried up, Saudi Binladin Group’s finances deteriorated and it stopped paying tens of thousands of its workers, leading to riots. By mid-2016, much of the group’s construction work was stalled, including at projects essential to Prince Mohammed’s reform plans.Again the Bin Ladens tried to defuse the situation. Saudi Binladin Group hired dozens of finance and management professionals from overseas, including former Morgan Stanley banker Klaus Froehlich as chief financial officer. Froehlich, who remains CFO, came armed with years of experience in Saudi deal making. He also had ties to Mohammed al-Jadaan, who would soon be appointed finance minister, two sources said. Al-Jadaan did not respond to a request for comment.Creditors who had been struggling to reach Saudi Binladin Group during its crisis said communication improved after Froehlich arrived. Government payments started coming through again. Financial pressure eased. The company also put plans for a public stock offering back on the table, bowing to state pressure to “recycle” some of the money it had made over the decades back into the kingdom, according to six people familiar with the plans. It appeared that relations between the Bin Ladens and the government were on the mend.But the detente would not last long. Saudi Arabia was careening toward a recession, and market conditions for a listing were worsening. To the government’s irritation, the stock offering plans stalled again because of this deteriorating environment. “The rulers and MbS saw [the Bin Ladens] as a leech sucking the lifeblood out of Saudi Arabia but offering nothing in return,” said one person who had worked on the company’s restructuring. “They ran out of patience.”In June 2017, Prince Mohammed replaced his cousin, security chief Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, as heir apparent, further centralising the levers of power. More than ever, Prince Mohammed was in a position to do something about the Bin Ladens.DownfallOn the night of Nov. 4, 2017, Saudi authorities detained Bakr bin Laden in Jeddah along with more than 200 other members of the Saudi elite, in what officials said was a crackdown on corruption. Dozens of Bin Laden family members, including the brothers’ children, had their bank accounts frozen and were banned from travelling abroad, said associates of the family. Brothers who were abroad at the time were recalled to the kingdom.For Bakr, it was the beginning of a detention that has lasted more than 10 months. Like many others, he was first held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh. So were his brothers Saleh and Saad, fellow major shareholders. Other Bin Laden brothers – Omar, Ahmed, Mohammed, Abdullah and Yehya among them – were brought to the hotel for shorter periods, according to four family associates.The purge affected royals, ministers and business leaders. The Bin Laden family’s hometown of Jeddah, once the economic capital of Saudi Arabia, was particularly hard hit. Many of the city’s merchant families had maintained close relationships with previous kings; few of them were spared in the crackdown.The government publicly has not said precisely why the Bin Ladens – or any of the other individuals caught up in the anti-corruption campaign – were detained. King Salman said at the time the purge was in response to “exploitation by some of the weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest, in order to, illicitly, accrue money.”Two sources said the Bin Laden brothers received little attention in the hotel and were left alone in their rooms watching TV and eating room service. One family associate said a younger brother told him he was never informed why he was there, had no access to a lawyer and was barely visited by interrogators. Like others in the Ritz, they were made to keep the doors to their rooms open and a doctor came to check on them regularly. Authorities also employed a notary to facilitate the changing of power of attorney on assets. One brother described it bluntly to a friend upon his release: “It was a shitty experience.”Asked to comment, the senior government official referred Reuters to statements issued at the time by the kingdom’s Attorney General. These statements said suspects had “the same rights and treatment as any other Saudi citizen.”“Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and everyone’s legal rights will be preserved,” Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said on Nov. 5, 2017.The Ritz was cleared of prisoners in late January but Bakr is still in detention in Riyadh, able to receive visits only from his immediate family members, according to five people familiar with the situation. Asked about Bakr’s whereabouts and the status of the investigation, the senior government official referred Reuters to the Attorney General. The Attorney General did not respond to a request for comment.The other brothers are at home in Jeddah, but keeping a low profile. Saleh, the most gregarious, has returned to playing card games with friends, said one acquaintance. Stripped of many of his assets, including a palace in Jeddah bestowed by King Abdullah, he has been visiting banks to ask for help, according to one lender. “He’s putting a brave face on,” the lender said.Authorities seized the title deeds to the homes of senior brothers, including Bakr’s villa overlooking the Red Sea, as part of settlements for their release, four sources said. The state also took private jets, cash, jewelry and Saad’s $90 million automobile collection, which included limited edition Ferraris and other rare Italian cars, said two sources. Bakr’s son Nawaf was relieved of every Maserati in his personal showroom.Asked to comment, the senior government official referred Reuters to the Attorney General’s Office. It did not respond. In a statement at the time of the Ritz detentions, Attorney General Saud Al Mojeb estimated that corruption and embezzlement had cost Saudi Arabia at least $100 billion over several decades. In Dec. 2017, he said most detainees faced with corruption allegations had agreed to a “settlement,” involving assets including real estate, cash and securities.The TakeoverThe core of the Bin Laden family’s settlement with the government involved the conglomerate itself.On April 23, the government finalised the transfer of 36.2 percent of the company, representing the shares held by Bakr, Saleh and Saad, to an entity called Istidama Holding Company, according to a Commerce Ministry document reviewed by Reuters. Two people who have dealt with Istidama said it was set up by the Ministry of Finance to park the proceeds of settlements agreed between the government and individuals detained in the corruption purge. The senior government official confirmed to Reuters that the Ministry of Finance owns Istidama. There are no public filings about Istidama because it is not a listed firm, and Reuters was unable to contact the company.The government established a five-man committee to oversee the running of Saudi Binladin Group. Its members include Abdulrehman al-Harkan, a former chief executive of Riyadh-based developer Dar Al Arkan; Khaled Nahas, a board member of petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries Corp; and Khalid al-Khowaiter, chief financial officer at Advanced Electronics Company, a state-established technology firm. These government appointees are considered by many close to the company to be a front for the rulers. “The bottom line is that the government has taken over,” said one banker in Jeddah.Harkan, Nahas and Khowaiter did not respond to requests for comment. The senior government official said the supervisory committee was “an independent committee that represents the interests of all partners.”The remaining two-thirds of Saudi Binladin Group are still held by 15 younger Bin Laden brothers, according to the Commerce Ministry document. Two family representatives were appointed to the oversight committee – Yehya, who ran the back office, and Abdullah, a Harvard-educated lawyer who handled the conglomerate’s interests in the United States. Several sources interpreted their inclusion as a token gesture by the government. The brothers and their representatives did not respond to requests for comment.The void left by the family’s diminished role was filled by Harkan, the developer, who reports to the royal court and to Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan, according to the group executive. As chairman of the committee and the effective head of Saudi Binladin Group, Harkan was involved in securing an 11 billion riyal ($3 billion) loan from the Ministry of Finance in April. He has also met with creditors, primarily local banks, to offer reassurances about the group’s future. Harkan told those present that the company was a “mess and hopelessly insolvent,” but that he had been appointed by King Salman to lead its turnaround, said one attendee. To the incredulity of some of those listening, Harkan also explained the brothers were “relieved to be absolved of their responsibilities.”Despite those assurances, the company’s future remains uncertain. As Harkan has told creditors, plans drawn up after Froehlich was hired will be dusted off. The estimated 537 companies that make up the conglomerate, from construction to energy, will be broken up and the name of the company changed to distance it from the Bin Laden legacy.Also at issue is money owed to Saudi Binladin Group. After the Ritz detentions, what one source described as an “army of accountants” began combing through the company’s books, trying to make sense of the government’s liabilities to the firm. A person close to the family gauged it at nearly $40 billion. A company director estimated the amount was smaller. The senior government official said the government had no liabilities to the firm, but there were “some disputed payments among several government agencies that are being addressed.”Life After The Bin LadensSaudi Binladin Group has 93 projects in hand and ties to 1,400 subcontractors, but most of its work is on hold. The company is focusing its efforts on delivering one massive project, commissioned by Prince Mohammed. The project is NEOM, a $500 billion business zone on the Red Sea coast that is the centrepiece of Mohammed’s vision for a modern, dynamic Saudi Arabia. The city will have its own legal system designed to attract international investors in high tech industries such as biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and tourism.But the first buildings commissioned at the site were more traditional – opulent seaside palaces. These included a replica of the palace that Saudi Binladin Group completed for King Salman in Tangier, Morocco, said three sources, one of them working at the site. According to a project design document reviewed by Reuters, the site has palaces for the king, Prince Mohammed and his brother Prince Turki, as well as smaller villas for other royal brothers and “family princes.” Landscaped with fountains and flowering trees, the complex will also feature three helipads, a marina and a golf course.Contracts for the palaces originally went to other Saudi construction firms. But according to the source at the project site and two other sources, those companies were unable to handle the scale and speed of the project.Tens of thousands of Binladin workers were diverted from other projects around the country. They worked 24/7 at breakneck pace to deliver, toiling through the sweltering summer months, said three sources. Grass planted outside the palaces did not grow quickly enough for the Aug. 1 deadline, so the workers had to replace it with artificial turf before the royal arrival. The senior government official confirmed that a subsidiary of Saudi Binladin Group was involved in the building work.Prince Mohammed took regular flights around the project to survey its progress, according to four people familiar with the matter. Two of them said he has taken charge of marketing NEOM himself, bringing in prospective investors for official tours and alcohol-free parties. At the end of July, he and the king moved to the unfinished complex for their summer holiday. With no other structures on site, trailing cabinet members and business leaders stayed on yachts or in the nearby town of Sharma.Once again, the kingdom needed the knowhow of Saudi Binladin Group.last_img read more

"As Saudi prince Salman rose the Bin Laden business empire crumbled"

Looking To Holland To Find More Sand For Galveston Island

first_img Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: For years, sand has been returned to eroded beaches and dunes on Galveston Island by bulldozers and backhoes at a cost of millions of dollars. Now, a new idea: let Mother Nature do the work. “If you put sand down you know it’s going to move,” says Galveston Island Park Board Director Kelly de Schaun.She says they’re looking at a way to put that thought to work, the idea that sand naturally moves. It’s the basis for an experiment underway on the North Sea coast of the Netherlands.A few years ago, the Dutch dumped tons of sand in one spot on the coast. Now, they’re finding that waves and tides naturally move the sand and deposit back along a beach. So sand piled in one spot might continually restore an entire beach for possibly 20 years, negating the need to spread the sand every five years or so with all those bulldozers and backhoes.“We’ve been looking at that model and are currently entered into a project that we just started with Texas A&M,” says de Schaun.De Schaun says the project will take a few years to develop and will be located on the west end of the seawall, a point of bad erosion that Hurricane Ike threatened to actually breach.But will it work? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is experimenting with dumping sand just off the edge of South Padre Island according to the Corps’ Sharon Tirpak. She told a legislative committee last week: “We have placed it just off shore of South Padre Island and it has continued to go ahead build some of the beaches. so we’re kind of testing the theory out a little bit.”Testing a theory that says if nature can take sand away, maybe it can return it too. Share Laura Johnson. Houston Public Mediacenter_img 00:00 /01:34 Xlast_img read more

"Looking To Holland To Find More Sand For Galveston Island"

Nearly 1 Billion Raised For Rebuilding Texas After Harvey

first_imgA Harvey flood evacuated child carries donated supplies in a trash bag at a shelter setup inside NRG Center, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)The groups helping to rebuild on the Texas Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey have collected close to $1 billion in donations, according to an Associated Press tally of major national and local organizations.Much of that money is already being put to work after Harvey, which ravaged cities in Southeast Texas in August with high winds before dumping record amounts of rain on the rest of the coast, including Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city.Here is a look at the fundraising picture after Harvey:Who’s raising money?Of the $928 million raised by major groups involved in the recovery, the most money has been collected by the Red Cross, which said this month that it’s raised $493 million for Harvey relief.The Greater Houston Community Foundation, which is operating the relief fund endorsed by Houston’s top elected leaders, has raised more than $108 million. The Rebuild Texas Fund, administered by the family foundation of computer magnate Michael Dell, has raised more than $89 million. The evangelical group Samaritan’s Purse has also raised $86 million. United Way has raised more than $54 million.The online campaign by Houston Texans star J.J. Watt raised $37 million, and both the Salvation Army and a fund created by the government of Qatar have each pledged $30 million.___How is the money being spent?At least 40 percent of the total amount has been spent or distributed so far, though some groups could not confirm how much they had disbursed for the AP’s tally. Several major groups say they’re planning to announce new recipients of aid this month and in January.The Red Cross used $254 million — more than half the money it has raised — to give out financial assistance, food and other relief. It also funded emergency shelters for weeks after the storm and other financial assistance to individuals and community funds.Most of the other funds are helping smaller organizations that directly manage the cases of individual people in need or provide housing, job training, new furniture or mental health assistance. The Greater Houston Community Foundation has distributed at least $36 million to local groups so far, with plans for a new round of grants in January focused on housing.“We’re trying to balance a sense of great urgency to make sure people who need help are getting it rapidly, while at the same time a sense of care and responsibility to our donors to ensure that the funds are being spent effectively and efficiently,” said Renee Wizig-Barrios, the foundation’s senior vice president.___Are the groups working together?Coordination between groups working to resolve a crisis is key, say experts on disaster recovery and people who were part of the rebuilding after disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.Many of Houston’s major aid groups have met twice so far to discuss priorities and the work they’re doing. But the Red Cross was not invited to those two meetings, even though it has raised the most money. A spokeswoman for the Houston Endowment, which convenes the meetings, said the Red Cross wasn’t included because the meetings are for groups that will make grants to local nonprofits.Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have both criticized the Red Cross publicly. Abbott said in November that he was concerned that money given to the Red Cross “was not getting into the hands of the people who need it.”A Red Cross spokesman said this month that the group has “active collaborative efforts” with other organizations. The Red Cross has publicly committed that 91 cents of every dollar raised will go toward recovery work, though the organization has been sharply criticized for perceived misspending after the Haiti earthquake and Superstorm Sandy.___Will nonprofit aid be enough? By all accounts, no. Local and state officials say that while donor funds can help fill in gaps and immediately help people in need, most of the support for Texas’ rebuilding will have to come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other U.S. government agencies.FEMA says it has approved about $1.5 billion in funding so far for almost 900,000 people in Texas. Many thousands more are still waiting for an answer on their applications for disaster aid, or starting to file appeals of denials for help.The U.S. House on Thursday passed an $81 billion disaster aid package for hurricane-hit Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, along with regions of California ravaged by recent wildfires. The Senate isn’t expected to vote until next month. Sharelast_img read more

"Nearly 1 Billion Raised For Rebuilding Texas After Harvey"

Full Show Relief For Furloughed Federal Employees And Latino Muslims Jan 22

first_imgListen On Tuesday’s Houston Matters: The City of Houston is partnering with several local nonprofits, including the Houston Relief Hub, to provide aid for the many federal workers in Greater Houston who have been out of work for than a month because of the partial government shutdown. We find out what assistance is available and how people can get it.Also this hour: According to a study from LendingTree, seniors in Texas carry more debt into retirement than seniors in other states. We learn more about the study, and then we revisit our 2016 conversation about saving for retirement and when to start retirement planning.Then, horticulturist Linda Gay answers your winter garden care questions.And the largest number of Muslim converts are coming from the Latino community. A new documentary series on Vice.com called called Minority Reports recently visited Houston to learn why.We offer a daily podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Share 00:00 /00:00center_img X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

"Full Show Relief For Furloughed Federal Employees And Latino Muslims Jan 22"